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Youngest Miss Ward Hardcover – Oct 28 1998


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Gifts For Dad
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.




Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Oct. 28 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312193750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312193751
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,062,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Jane Austen herself might be pleased with Aiken's sequel to Mansfield Park, focusing on the life of a newly created younger sister to the three Ward women. Lacking beauty or a dowry, and therefore without social prospects, Hatty Ward is forced to work as an unpaid governess for difficult charges amid depressing surroundings. As the durable Hatty moves from one unhappy living arrangement to the next, Aiken effectively portrays England in the late 18th century, when social class strictly dictated the norms of behavior and an independent, clever young lady was often scorned by her elders. As in her previous Austen sequels (Jane Fairfax, etc.), Aiken captures the language, customs and style of an era when young women's lives were at the mercy of their parents, older siblings and highly connected relatives. Hatty is an admirable heroine, resolutely facing the challenges thrown her way, finding solace in poetry and the accomplishments of her arduous work. References to the distant French Revolution and to the indentured servant route to America bring period authenticity to the story. Intelligent, warmhearted Hatty and the hardships she must endure before she can find true happiness will please Aiken's loyal readers and satisfy Austen fans.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In her latest Jane Austen read-alike, Aiken profiles Hattie Ward, the youngest of the Ward sisters of Austen's Mansfield Park. Hattie is a talented child, a writer, whose tribulations sometimes seem more Dickensian than Austen-like, as first she is torn from her mother through the machinations of the vicious Lady Ursula and then from the woman she has come to regard as a second mother. Even Austen would balk at the complications that befall Hattie. Though the prolific Aiken has a slew of fans, this latest copycat novel is too far off the mark, lacking the gentle mockery and acuity of Austen as well as her wit. Austen fans may wish to check out some of the novels by Emma Tennant and Julia Barrett from the early 1990s or Stephanie Barron's current Austen mysteries. For Aiken devotees only.?Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on May 20 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found this latest book of Joan Aiken's to be a very enjoyable one, with many references to characters and events in Mansfield Park, and an excellent portrayal of the early nineteenth century. For the entire first half or more I was quite caught up in the heroine's life and that of the whole cast of unusual characters, many of which seem to be right out of an Austin novel. It was with some chagrin when I realized, toward the end, that Hattie (the youngest Miss Ward of the title), had slipped into the "Goody Goody" mode, and was becoming somewhat insipid. I mean, really, she goes around solving everyone's problems, and taking all kinds of abuse with never a frown, but is always cheerful and helpful to a fault. The other characters have also fallen into rather neat groups of villians and good guys. However, this would not really have bother me, had the ending not been as it was. I don't wish to give anything away, so I won't comment on the obvious flaws and lack of continuity in many of the storylines and characters. However, some may not be as troubled by the ending or the character of the heroine , and, if interested in this period of history, will certainly enjoy reading The Youngest Miss Ward.
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Format: Hardcover
I started out thinking I was in for yet another jewel along the lines of "Jane Fairfax" and "Mansfield Revisited." Aiken certainly starts off in that vein, but halfway thru, the plot turns ridiculous. Hatty became so 'Dickens-like' in her cheerful suffering that I wanted to gag, and the antagonists were also crosses between those found in Bronte and Dickens and not Austen-like at all. Aiken seemed to abandon wit and good humor for pathos and melo-drama. I hope she will not continue on this vein in her future Austen ventures. Aiken is VERY gifted and readable, so it is easy to forgive her for "The Youngest Miss Ward."
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Format: Hardcover
Those who have read and meditated on the themes and events of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen may find this off-shoot by Joan Aiken to be rather intriguing. While the ending may seem a bit forced, the characterizations and the obvious depth of knowledge of the historical period make this enjoyable reading.
The most interesting contrast in the book was that of Lady Ursula, well situated in the class structure but not able to cope with the consequences of her choices, and Harriet Ward, the quintessential poor relation who is better equipped to cope with life's vagaries. The novel provides more food for thought than one might otherwise anticipate.
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By Sharon Loo on Feb. 24 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is a sorry disappointment coming from a talented authoress like Miss Aiken. The lpot is not true to Miss Austen at all, and not a whit of it leads to the plot, structure, theme, language or depth of "Mansfiedl Park". And like all Janeites out ther, let me point out that the youngest Miss Ward's first name is not Harriet (Hatty); it's actually Frances (Fanny). Our Heroine in "Mansfield Park" is Fanny Price, and she is the eldest daughter, and in true Jane Austen fashion, the eldest daughters and sons are usually named for the parents. A disappointemnt indeed, a far cry from what Miss Austen conceptualised.
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By "un_affected" on Dec 25 2003
Format: Hardcover
was the book supposed to be written like jane austen?
i sure hope not. (utter failure)
the plot was stretched out over too many pages and interjected with catastrophies. the author appears to have not thought out the plot, at all. that aside-it is readable. until you get to the end, at which you will be infuriated at the further thoughtlessness of the author. a poor attempt at a twisted ending and an "oh well" explaination for the resolution.
the time period is tampered with to an extreme.
do not waste your time.
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